Impediments and catalysts to task-shifting psychotherapeutic interventions for adolescents with PTSD : perspectives of multi-stakeholders

Van de Water, Tanya ; Rossouw, Jaco ; Yadin, Elna ; Seedat, Soraya (2017-09-22)

CITATION: van De Water, T., et al. 2017. Impediments and catalysts to task-shifting psychotherapeutic interventions for adolescents with PTSD : perspectives of multi-stakeholders. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 11:48, doi: 10.1186/s13034-017-0187-y.

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ENGLISH SUMMARY : Background: This qualitative study was nested within a randomized controlled trial (RCT) where two psychotherapeutic interventions (supportive counselling and prolonged exposure for adolescents) were provided by supervised nurses (who served as ‘nurse counsellors’) to adolescents with PTSD in school settings. This paper describes the perspectives of nurse counsellors (NCs) and school liaisons (SLs). SLs were teachers or administrative personnel at the schools who coordinated the study visits of participants with the NCs. We focus on the impediments and catalysts to and recommendations for treatment implementation. Methods: NCs (n = 3) and SLs (n = 3) who participated in the RCT during 2014 were purposively recruited by telephone and participated in face-to-face semi-structured in-depth interviews that were recorded and doubly transcribed. Thematic content analysis was applied using Atlas.ti software to identify emerging themes. This paper describes the impediments and catalysts to provide psychotherapy by task-shifting in a community setting across three sub-themes: personal, community, and collaborative care. Results: Although nurses were initially resistant to supervision it was central to personally coping with complex interventions, managing traumatic content, and working apart from a multi-disciplinary team. Delivering the interventions in the community presented multiple logistical impediments (e.g. transport, communication, venue suitability) which required creative solutions. In light of resource shortages, networking is central to effective delivery and uptake of the interventions. Collaboration between government departments of health and education may have a major impact on providing school-based psychotherapy through task-shifting. Conclusions: Impediments to implementation are not insurmountable. This article provides recommendations to maximize the success of task-shifting interventions should they be rolled out.

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